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Afghanistan's top peace envoy wants Pakistan to push Taliban to curtail violence

  • Abdullah's Pakistan visit will help in curtailing the existing distrust between the two countries.
01 Oct 2020

Afghanistan’s top peace envoy, Abdullah Abdullah, ended his three-day visit to Pakistan on Wednesday with hopes that the existing distrust between the neighbors would be curtailed substantially.

Abdullah met Pakistan’s top civil leadership during his visit and was assured of Islamabad’s complete cooperation for the Afghan peace process. In a statement, Pakistan’s foreign minister said that Afghanistan should see us as friends, not enemies. He further added that Pakistan is fully onboard with an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

Abdullah in an interview said that he asked Pakistan’s military leadership to use its influence with the Afghan Taliban to reduce violence in Afghanistan. According to Abdullah, the reduction in violence can be comprised as a first indication the two countries share the same goal of peace.

“It’s in their best interest of peace to encourage the Taliban (but) if cease-fire today, for example, is too heavy a word for the Taliban let us talk together to find what can we do so that people see that there are changes int eh security environment, Abdullah said” while referring to the reduction in violence in Afghanistan.

“It is time (for the Taliban) to show some practical signs of their commitment to peace… Why are they not giving the people a chance to breathe and to see that things are happening?

While Abdullah’s Pakistan visit is a welcome step towards restoring peace in Afghanistan, it is unclear if the visit can bridge the existing deep trust deficit between the neighbors. It is important to note here that Abdullah has been extremely critical of Pakistan’s alleged interference in Afghan politics.

One of his profiles published by the BBC noted that “Dr. Abdullah is seen by many as a Tajik despite his mixed ethnicity. This is probably because of his past prominence in the Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance and his close relationship with the anti-Taliban group's famed former leader, Ahmed Shah Masood.”

The next few weeks are going to be important for the intra-Afghan peace process as all political stakeholders are expected to lay down their core agendas.